Constructing the Past
A non-trivial logistic

If we deviate from conventional space-time causality various logistical problems arise.  Our memories are private, the past is public.  Are there not going to be many reality conflicts if we try to reverse the direction of time?  How would we explain the retroactive coordination of memory without the benefit of an objective past?  Temporal continuity must be maintained.

When a video is run backwards many impossible things appear to happen.  For instance, a diver can propel herself up out of the water.  And the existence of the video itself is just as inexplicable.

These problems are largely an artifact of our materialist biases, because otherwise the video is just another form of memory.  But the existence of physical records seems more difficult to explain than intangible memories.

We need to think of time in a more experiential manner.  Before there was time there were temporal experiences.  There were experiences like birth and other experiences like death.  They had more meaning if they were combined in a sequential manner.  Experiences become real by becoming meaningful.  Temporality is a prime source of meaning.  Whatever the meaning of life, it is inextricably bound to the notion of time.

We say that time is irreversible, but cyclical time is entirely repetitious.  This was our primordial experience of time.  There is also the narrational aspect of time.  Consider a piece of instrumental music.  Its directionality is subtler.  Compositions can spring into the imagination of an artist almost fully formed.  I am suggesting a similar origin for history.  The eternal significance would likely ‘precede’ the temporal.

There may have been competing potential or virtual histories.  The one with the most meaning would ‘gravitationally’ overwhelm its competitors in the arena of experiential alignment or crystallization.  Even virtual experiences can exist only relationally.  The more deeply embedded in the narrative, the more real.  A false note in the midst of a symphony is not a part of the symphony, it is a ‘mistake’ and as such it would be part of another narrative.

There can be many stories and symphonies, but only one metanarrative of history.  Of course, there are other possible worlds, but that is all they are.  Reality is a balancing act, and small shifts can throw everything out of balance. The relationality has to work overtime to maintain stability.  We will get a much closer look at this mechanism as we approach the eschaton.

History may also arise out of an annealing process applied to the virtual pleroma.  Many analogies will be needed to put this puzzle back together.  The eternal present is shattered.  It pieces itself back together under the aegis of time.  Time finally dissolves into the eschaton, which includes the ‘resurrection’ and ‘recollection’ of the past.  In resurrecting dinosaurs we are overshooting the mark, but there should be no penalty for that.

Under the aegis of cyclical time causality can be established from the top down rather than from the bottom up as in the view of science.  Habit and causality become mutually sustaining.  Linear time manifests in the greater and smaller incidences of irreversibility that intrude upon the natural cycles, such as when two realities collide.


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rev. 2/23/99